Argentina – Switzerland Ro16 Match 7

Switzerland worked really really hard on containing Messi, but Argentina still broke through. Not the most fantastic of wins, but it was revealing how Messi was attracting upto 3 defenders at one time. That man is fantastic and i would love to see him in the Finals. Rest of the team are alright.

Final score: Argentina wins 1:0

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Germany – Algeria Ro16 Match 6

Another fantastic match. If Nigeria played great Algeria were fantastic. At one point it looked like they would successfully hold Germany till the penalties. Germany did finally break through in extra time with two goals. Algeria got back a consolation goal at the last second and in some way it was deserving for the fantastic game they had.

There was one aspect that I noticed in both this match and the France-Nigeria one. While both Nigeria and Algeria played great I think they gave their opponents too much respect, focusing on containing them rather than trying to win the match. I wonder if a little more aggressive outlook would have helped them cause an upset.

Final result: Germany wins 2-1

 

France – Nigeria Ro16 Match 5

Was looking forward to this match but looking at France’s form I did think that it would be easy sailing for them. Was pleasantly surprised by Nigeria. They played with a lot of skill as well as will keep French back for quite a long time. Alas France did break through in the second half and managed a 2-0 win. So France reaches the quarter finals.

Costa Rica – Greece Ro16 Match 4

I thought this match may end up being a plodding affair, but it wasn’t. It was quite an interesting affair even though the score after extra time was still tied at 1-1. Enjoyed both the teams, but as I had gone into the match supporting Costa Rica I was on their side during the penalties. Was very pleased to see Costa Rica win this one

Netherland – Mexico Ro16 Match 3

This match was a roller coaster ride. With the dull first half, including a penalty which I think Netherlands deserved to be given (I think if Robben had not been the one fouled they would have got it) to a second half full of drama. At one point it really felt that Mexico was through, and I think they made the same mistake – deciding to play defence even though a lot of the game was left. The goal by Dos Santos was a beauty but the one from Schneider was sublime and timely. 

Then came the infamous penalty which Robben earned. People are still split on this decision with many shouting that he had dived. It was clear he had dived before, something he confessed to, but this one seemed legit. At least as close to legit as possible where benefit of doubt has to go to the attacking team.

Anyways all of these points are just ifs and buts, and Mexico have the referee as the fall guy – at the end of the day there was a penalty given during injury extra time and Netherlands won.

If Netherlands play like they did in the first half there is no hope for them this year too – however if they play like they did in the second half (sans Robben’s theatrics) they will be a pleasure to watch throughout.

Colombia – Uruguay Ro16 Match 2

Missed this match and did not even consider checking the score. Result was as I assumed with Uruguay without Suarez. This reminded me of Beckham and Rooney were their sending off affected their countries progress in previous world cups.

End result – Colombia are through and will play Brazil in quarters.

Brazil – Chile Round of 16 Match 1

The result went the way I thought it might, but not in the manner that I thought. Rather than stamping their authority over the match as would be expected of someone with hopes of being world champion it would be fair to say that they scraped through. It was a fantastic Chilean effort and at the end of it all the penalties decided the game.

Refereeing seems to have a major part though. For eg. if the Hulk goal, which seemed legal, was allowed maybe the Brazilian attitude would have been way different. At the same time Brazil played appallingly at defence.

Finally stamina – it felt like that really impacted a lot of the penalty hits. In fact I thought that even Neymar would fail his penalty but this young man seems to be stepping up in all the right ways.

Great work by both goalkeepers with special kudos to the Chilean one.

So final result – Brazil sneaks through on penalties.